Mortgage applications to buy homes continued to rise last week as refinance applications hit the lowest level in seven months.
An index tracking applications to purchase homes increased 2 percent week-over-week, seasonally adjusted, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The uptick comes despite historically low levels of housing inventory and skyrocketing home prices.
“Activity was up 5 percent from a year ago, as the recovering job market and demographic factors drive demand,” Joel Kan, head of industry forecasting, said in a statement.
MBA’s index tracking refinance applications dropped 4 percent last week — the lowest level since September. Kan attributed that to increasing rates.
“Rates have jumped 36 basis points since the end of January,” he said.
The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.28 percent, up 2 basis points from 3.26 percent. The average rate for jumbo loans was flat at 3.34 percent.
The average purchase loan size last week was $406,200, down from $409,900 the week before.
MBA’s indices cover 75 percent of the residential mortgage market on a weekly basis. The report has been running since 1990.